There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch … Oh Wait …

Hey parents!

You have NO IDEA what’s good for your children.

WE know what’s best!

And packing lunch for your little ones?

Ain’t gonna happen in OUR school district. WE will provide your children with healthy food – don’t you DARE make nutritional choices for YOUR children. WE know best. Don’t fight us.

Where’s the money coming from to feed all of the extra mouths, you ask?

Don’t you concern yourselves with that little nuisance, money is no object – we’ve got it covered. All you need to concern yourself with is to make sure little Johnny/Jane shows up to school on time and hungry! Cause we’re gonna feed them the food of OUR choice. And you’re gonna LIKE it! Cause what choice do you have? We’re in control, you’re not speaking up, YOUR children are ours to do with as we please. Now stop your whining and drink more Kool-aid.

*insert evil laugh here*

Of course, I’m being melodramatic, but get this – this is NOT a hypothetical situation. It’s happening, right now.

(Did you hear about this news story? If not, my question is why not? Are you paying attention? Is the news outlet you’re listening to or watching not reporting it? Why not? Stay informed people, these are our RIGHTS we’re talking about here).

Crazy, right?

Not to sound all bad ass on you people, but if anyone dared to tell me that I had no control over what my children ate, at any time of the day or at any point in their lives, or who dared to take my parental responsibility away from me, no matter the issue or how “small” the choice in regards to MY OWN CHILDREN, I’d go all Rambo Mom on their controlling bleepity-bleep-bleep-bleeps.

But let’s bring this tirade down a notch or two (or ten) and look at the issue here.

To encourage healthful eating, Chicago school doesn’t allow kids to bring lunches or certain snacks from home — and some parents, and many students, aren’t fans of the policy.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”

Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring “bottles of soda and flaming hot chips” on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.

And yet, we haven’t heard of any other school doing this – I wonder how “common” it really is?

Now this paragraph disturbs me:

Any school that bans homemade lunches also puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider, (emphasis added) Chartwells-Thompson. The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.

Wait. So forcing children to eat at school and forgo homemade lunches “puts more money in the pockets of the district’s food provider?” It always comes back to money, doesn’t it. Even though it’s nearly always disguised as the “better option for the people.”

Also, look at that last sentence: “The federal government pays the district for each free or reduced-price lunch taken, and the caterer receives a set fee from the district per lunch.” Just WHO do you think the federal government gets the money from??

THE TAXPAYERS! AARGH – money doesn’t just magically appear, people!!!!

And then the crème de la crème:

At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad.

Sooooo … not only are the kids now NOT eating at all, they’re wasting tons of food that could be served to people who could REALLY benefit from it – like the homeless or the hungry.

Another brilliant call Mr. Government. Truly.

And let’s not forget that MOST parents can’t AFFORD to pay for lunches every day – they have to PAY for idiot programs like these.

“This is the perfect illustration of how the government’s one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again. Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda.”

AGREED! The CHOICE of what to feed our children should be up to the PARENTS – not a “one-size-fits-all” government bureaucracy.

“But Karen, what about the children who come to school every day with chips, cupcakes and soda in their lunch? Don’t they deserve to eat healthy foods?”

How do you know they’re not eating healthy? How do you know they eat like that every day? What business is it of ours what the parents pack for their children? Unless that child is having food-related health issues and intervention is required for the sake of the child’s health, the public has no right what to tell the parents how to feed their children.

The community with the lunch ban has a median income of around $32,000 a year. What does that buy you in the city? Think about it. Raising a family that includes school-aged children on a budget that would squeeze a single person in an urban area does not leave much room for expensive, healthy, delicious foods. It’s the American poverty crisis – the poor get poorer.

With the other basics of survival (housing, for one) taking up most of an income like that, there simply isn’t room in the family budget for the luxury of nourishing, delicious food. The default food group becomes junk.


This is a Red Herring argument. If families are in the low-income bracket, they automatically qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches. So, these children that are eating lunches at school are doing so BECAUSE their parents are low income.

People who do NOT qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches have to PAY for their children’s lunches every day and those people CAN’T afford to do so every day. It would be MUCH cheaper to buy a family pack of deli meat and a loaf of bread (ever heard of day old bread? CHEAP), and get several days worth of lunches from that food than to pay for one lunch their child may, or may not, eat.

What a waste and an incredible violation of our parental rights.

No, sorry. No matter how you slice this issue, government intervention is NOT THE ANSWER.

As always.


Making Sure “In God We Trust” Stays ON Our Currency

I don’t get a lot of emails forwarded to me, but when I do, I am immediately cynical. Just as with anything, one needs to take the time to look at the entire subject matter and not just take a snippet of something and go off the handle about it.

I recently received an email about how the new dollar coins (they’re bringing those things back again?? Didn’t the first dollar coin experiment FAIL? That’s the government for you – keep throwing money WE DON’T have on programs that have FAILED. Where was I …) don’t have “In God We Trust on Them.”


I looked up the email on Snopes.com and here is what it said:

In 2007, the U.S. Mint began the release of a series of coins similar in concept to the 50 State Quarters Program launched in 1999. This new series, the Presidential $1 Coin Program, features dollar coins identical in size, color, and composition to the earlier Sacagawea dollar, each one bearing the likeness of a former U.S. President on the front and a representations of the Statue of Liberty on the back. The Presidential $1 coins will be released in series of four per year (in order corresponding to the presidents’ terms of office) beginning in February 2007.

Just as the first Presidential $1 coins rolling out of the Mint in early 2007, emails began to circulate spreading the erroneous assertion that the new dollar coins did not include the phrase “In God We Trust” in their design. In fact, the Presidential dollars neither omitted the phrase “In God We Trust” nor demonstrated a plot to “phase God out of America.” As specified by Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, in order to allow for “larger and more dramatic artwork” on the coins’ faces, the new Presidential $1 coins incorporated a few design features not found on other current U.S. coinage, one of which is that elements typically displayed on either the front or back of U.S. coins – the year of minting, the mint mark, the motto from the Great Seal of the United States (“E Pluribus Unum”), the current national motto of the United States (“In God We Trust”) – were instead included as edge-incursed inscriptions. That is, all of these elements appeared on the edges of the new dollar coins rather than on their fronts or backs.


The article goes on to say that there were small quantities of coins released at the beginning of the program that did NOT have the “In God We Trust” on them, but that it was a “mistake”.

Yeah right. I’m betting they omitted it on purpose to see if they could get away with it and people threw such a fit that they “fixed” the problem.

And the whole trying to phase God out of America thing? I totally buy that. I’m convinced that our government is trying to do that very thing but they would never come right out and admit that. I’m sure it would be chocked up to a “mistake,” if called out later.


Congress later reversed it’s specifications of printing “In God We Trust” on the side of the coin with the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act and instructed the mints to put it back ON the coin.

Again, most likely because people threw a fit about it.

Even though this email being circulated is wrong in stating that the new dollar coins don’t have the national motto “In God We Trust” printed on them (earlier versions didn’t due to a “mistake”, later versions have it on the side, and even later versions now have it printed on the coin), I think it’s still important to point out that once again, our government TRIED to get away with something and yet again the PEOPLE put their foot down and said no.

It just goes to show that, once again, it’s important to pay attention to what our government is up to. There’s no telling what “MISTAKES” might be made when we’re not looking.

A to Z Challenge

J is for Jam

But not the kind of jam you eat.

The kind of jam where you nod your head and tap your foot in beat with the music.

We were at my in-laws and while there, we had a little impromptu jam session. Kevin played the electric guitar, a family friend played the acoustic guitar, Kevin’s uncle played the drums and Jazz played his saxophone.

The whole thing was unscripted. Kevin picked a few bars, started playing something and the rest of the guys jumped in whenever they felt moved to.

Jazz has been learning improv in his Jazz band class at school and this was the first time we could really tell that something has “clicked.” He’s played improv in the past and well, it really wasn’t that good. I thought this go-around was really good and very promising. Afterward, Jazz said he really enjoyed himself and would like to do that more often.

It tickles me whenever he discovers something “new” like this – it’s like, “Look son! There’s more to life than video games!”



I’m participating in the A to Z challenge. You can sign up for the challenge here. Just post something every day with the appropriate letter (except for Sundays), and then submit your link to one of the hosts and don’t forget to visit other participants! Also, you can find other A to Z participants on Twitter via the #atozchallenge hashtag. (Keep your posts short – not more than 500 words – to make it easy on visitors. I think there were about 1100 participants the last time I checked).